Jacksonville Jaguars great Tony Boselli is up for a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame today. And deservedly so. The word "dominant" doesn't quite do Boselli justice. He made the Pro Bowl in five of his first six seasons. He was an All-Pro from 1997 through 1999. He's on the NFL All-Decade team for the 1990's.
Just look at that NFL All-Decade — John Elway, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice — the only first-team player not in the Hall of Fame on the offensive side of the ball is Boselli. And on the entire first-team squad, only defensive backs LeRoy Butler and Steve Atwater join Boselli on the sidelines. That’s 19 of 22 first-team players enshrined in Canton.
In a time where there were some very good offensive tackles, such as Jonathan Ogden and Bruce Armstrong, Boselli made a big name for himself in the smallest market in the league. And his prime was also the Jaguars’ prime — allowing him to showcase his talents frequently a national stage when the team was at its peak between 1996-1999.
Imagine a wide receiver or a quarterback or a defensive end who was among the top two or three at his position for four or five years. Of course that player gets voted in.
But what separates Boselli from the other great offensive tackles of his day was his athleticism. He was game-listed as 6'7" and around 320 pounds, but the guy sure didn't play like it.
In his seven-year, 91-game career, Boselli gave up just 15.5 sacks — roughly two sacks per season. Two sacks per season. He was among the top two or three at his position for five years.
Make no mistake, this is a big deal. A very big deal. If Boselli makes it in, it would be the biggest thing to happen to this franchise since their 1996 playoff run.
Never mind, it would definitely be bigger than that.